This easy chicken enchiladas recipe can be made in only about 30 minutes, and only using the stove top! Chicken skillet enchiladas are a great weeknight dinner recipe when you’re in a hurry and don’t want to heat up the oven!

enchiladas in red pan with jalapenos on the side

Note: this post was originally published in 2019 and updated in 2021 with new photos and improved instructions. The recipe was also modified slightly to make it even more delicious! This is not an authentic recipe, just my own quick and easy interpretation of enchiladas.

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Yes, you can make enchiladas in only about 30 minutes, AND without heating up the oven! This recipe for chicken skillet enchiladas is just what you need for a quick and easy dinner that everyone will love (no dinner complaints from the kids tonight!).

To make these delicious chicken enchiladas, chicken tenders are seasoned well and pan-fried, then chopped and mixed with black beans and lots of cheese. This delicious filling is stuffed inside corn tortillas and placed back in the same pan, with lots of enchilada sauce and even more cheese of course! The enchiladas are then simmered on the stove top until bubbly.

Now all that’s left to do is add your favorite toppings and enjoy the satisfying dinner you made in almost no time at all!

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Recipe ingredients

recipe ingredients with text overlay

Ingredient notes

  • Enchilada sauce: you will need canned enchilada sauce, feel free to choose your favorite type (red or green will both work great!).
  • Chicken tenders: I chose chicken tenders for this recipe because they cook quickly since they are so small. But, you can easily substitute chicken breasts, you just need to cut them into smaller pieces before cooking. I talk more about substituting other types of chicken in the Recipe FAQs section below.
  • Shredded cheese: to save time, I used a pre-shredded Mexican cheese blend. If you like, you can shred your own cheese, and pick the type of cheese you prefer. Monterey Jack and/or pepper Jack would be delicious!
  • Tortillas: corn tortillas are more traditional for enchiladas, so that’s what I used here. But, if you prefer flour tortillas those would also work! You will need tortillas that are about 5 ½ inches in diameter.

Step by step photos

1. Pre-step: if you like, you can remove the tendons from the chicken tenders (try this viral hack to easily remove the tendons from chicken tenders!). Or, you can just trim off any of the excess tendon that is sticking out, which is what I did.

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Then, combine the kosher salt, black pepper, cumin and chili powder together. Sprinkle it over the chicken tenders. I found it useful to use my (clean) fingers to rub the spices in so they evenly coat the chicken.

seasoned chicken tenders on parchment paper

2. Cook the seasoned chicken tenders in a 12 inch skillet until they are nicely browned on the outside and cooked through. Depending on the size of your chicken tenders, this will take about 3 – 4 minutes per side.

cooked chicken tenders in pan

3. Then, using tongs to hold the hot chicken, cut the tenders into small pieces.

chicken tenders being chopped on white cutting board

4. Add the chopped chicken to a bowl with shredded cheese and the rinsed and drained black beans.

tongs adding chopped chicken to bowl with cheese and black beans

5. Next, moisten a paper towel and use it to wrap half the tortillas. Microwave the tortillas for 30 seconds on high to soften them up.

hand wrapping damp paper towel around stack of tortillas

6. Pour about 1 ½ cups of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of the same skillet that was used to cook the chicken.

Add about ½ cup of the enchilada filling to each tortilla, roll it up, and place it in the pan seam side down. Be careful when adding them to the pan because it may still be hot from cooking the chicken.

tortilla being filled with chicken enchilada filling

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7. Continue making the enchiladas and placing them in the pan in a wreath shape. Once you have used up the first half of the tortillas, heat up the second half in the microwave before making the rest of the enchiladas.

hand adding enchilada to pan

8. Once all the enchiladas are in the pan, pour the rest of the enchilada sauce overtop.

enchilada sauce being poured overtop enchiladas in pan

9. If you see any dry spots, use a spoon to scoop some of the enchilada sauce overtop. When you’re done, all of the tortillas should be covered with sauce.

hand spooning extra enchilada sauce overtop enchiladas in pan

10. Sprinkle some additional shredded cheese on top, and cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid.

hand sprinkling shredded cheese on top of enchiladas in pan

11. Heat the enchiladas on the stove top again for about 9 – 10 minutes. The enchiladas are done when the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted.

lid being removed from pan of finished enchiladas

Tips and tricks

  • The key to getting these chicken skillet enchiladas on the table in 30 minutes is using your downtime to prep the next steps. While you keep an eye on the chicken cooking, you can drain and rinse the beans, add the cheese to the bowl, wrap the tortillas, and open the can of enchilada sauce.
  • While the chicken pieces are cooking in the pan, make sure to turn the heat down if you notice the spices are getting a little too dark.
  • Thoroughly heat your corn tortillas before trying to roll them up. They should be floppy! If they aren’t, they will crack when you try to roll them or when you put them into the pan. This is ok of course (it will still taste amazing!) but it won’t look quite as nice.
  • Also be sure to keep the tortillas wrapped in the paper towel while you are making the enchiladas to help keep them warm.
  • While heating the enchiladas up and waiting for the cheese to melt, resist the urge to keep opening the lid! This will let the steam escape and it will take way longer to melt the cheese.

Recipe FAQs

chicken enchiladas on plate with napkin in background

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